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Retired in retirement.
Life's ups and downs.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (112 votes) 
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Retired
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December 8, 2021 - 7:14 am
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Hi,

So much to learn. I'm currently having problems whilst wanting to record my violin practice sessions. I'm not a wiz kid understanding all this modern electronic technology; I dislike mobile phones which are now so often used. The microphone I bought is a cheap one and needs USB connection to my computer; trying to play the violin near my computer using this microphone is very difficult indeed and the mic is picking up lots of computer noise which I think is the fan. Space is OK to use the computer but a struggle whilst trying to use the violin.

I'm totally bewildered and have wasted lots of time looking at camcorders and sound recording equipment. I'd like to record violin playing in our studio being able to store it then bring the recording to the computer to play it back.

The Suzuki Violin School Volume 1 arrived yesterday so I'll spend time studying it and I'm still practicing playing my violin. Yesterday I decided to check my violin for tune and it had drifted quite a way off; Geoff set it up perfectly so the first thing I did on arriving home from Geoff's was to use the electronic tuner and I took careful note of where each string registered so now I can adjust the violin back to Geoff's settings and it appears to work fine; at the moment I'm struggling with so much and haven't yet enough practice to get my ears in tune so every little helps.

The dire weather is hampering everything I try to do; a short while ago a storm passed through putting a million homes out of power; yesterday the final homes were reconnected to power but now we have storm Barra coming through with outside temperature at 4.5C (40F) so more disruption; today is heavy rain and wind which is expected after all its winter. If I wander down to the workshop I get wet then once inside it takes a while for the fan heater to make an impression by which time it's a mealtime and unsafe to leave the fan heater home alone.

The new studio is excellent with central heating radiator and LED lighting but apart from practicing playing the violin I'm not yet geared up in the studio for my violin making project; I need to keep visiting the workshop for tools and materials also to use my big machinery.

I accept it's winter and I can hardly complain after al lI have both workshop and a studio; I tire of getting wet and being blown around; I've even tried using a brolly but the wind makes it difficult and in the workshop the wet brolly becomes a nuisance.

We've considered moving many times but in spite of the problems we love it here on the steep valley side with panoramic views also we've spent 35 years turning this detached bungalow into our dream home. I hope I'm not wingeing but I did add "Life's ups and down". During our short summer I'm always busy with maintenance around the bungalow and gardens hence my hobbies are carried out in poor or winter weather. Life however is good and basically I'm very happy with my lot; I can't control the weather but I can work when the bad weather lets up a bit so progress tends to be rather slow.

104_3397.JPGImage Enlarger104_3400.JPGImage Enlarger

I've added these pictures to my violin making thread but here they are to show I'm making slow progress; five tools made to exact sizes as shown in my Stradivarius violin making book. Now aged 74 I don't want to risk flu or pneumonia so am keeping warm and dry as much as I can; it's a shame the weather is so poor otherwise I could really get stuck in.

I'll wander into the studio after dinner and enjoy a violin practice session also I've got two violin making books and a violin playing book to keep me busy.

UPDATE,

I've just enjoyed a soaking whilst visiting our local post office and now I'm at the keyboard drying out.

https://fiddlerman.com/forum/r.....he-violin/

I think I'll find what I'm looking for at the above link so I need to do a bit of browsing.

Kind regards, Colin.

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JohnG
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Is there any way to make an enclosed walkway to the workshop?

The old curmudgeon!

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Retired
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Hi,

Many thanks for asking @JohnG and it's a good question.

Unfortunately it would cost a lot of money to cover in all the pathway from our rear door along the length of a double room extension then down the side of the bungalow; maintenance would be a problem but even worse is that here on the very steep exposed valley side we suffer from terrific winds at times; years ago the wind peeled away our neighbours roof from his double garage as if the roof were a bit of tissue paper. To the other side of the bungalow is even worse involving pathways and steps then the public pavement along the front of the bungalow.

Flags_0003.JPGImage EnlargerFlags_0004.JPGImage Enlarger

I dug out using shovel for both these paths and patio when I first retired moving the dry stone away away from the rear extension adding the pathway and rebuilding the wall; to the bungalow side I removed all the steps to create the new pathway adding a bespoke home made fence due to the slope. The new stiudio is just behind the wall/window seen in the bottom picture. It's our dream bungalow but with very high maintenance. In icy weather we use the pathway and steps to the other side of the bungalow for safety.

It's surprising how wet I get wandering down to the workshop in the rain or snow  which is actually the garage beneath the bungalow; I can't make an entrance into the workshop from inside the bungalow so in bad weather the workshop is out of bounds which is a shame because the workshop is fully kitted out.

Kind regards, Colin.

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ABitRusty
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@Retired I like how that walkway looks!   Really nice work!  Landscaping retaining wall looks great too, especially with the planters down at the end.

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ABitRusty
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@Retired said "...

. I'm currently having problems whilst wanting to record my violin practice sessions. I'm not a wiz kid understanding all this modern electronic technology; I dislike mobile phones which are now so often used. The microphone I bought is a cheap one and needs USB connection to my computer; trying to play the violin near my computer using this microphone is very difficult indeed and the mic is picking up lots of computer noise which I think is the fan. Space is OK to use the computer but a struggle whilst trying to use the violin.

I'm totally bewildered and have wasted lots of time looking at camcorders and sound recording equipment. I'd like to record violin playing in our studio being able to store it then bring the recording to the computer to play it back."

look for a usb hub ( cant think of corrct name ) that may get you some distance from computer to clear up noise issue.  Also a piece of foam between the mic stand and desk could help if its a rattle cause from vibration.  There are also usb extension cables or different lengths out there.  Whatever your favorite electronics/computer type retailer should carry some form of them.

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December 9, 2021 - 10:49 am
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Hi,

Many thanks @ABitRusty   for your replies. The 42' long steeply sloping pathway was a real challenge to lay doing everything on my own with Bron in the supporting roll supplying food and mugs of tea. It was incredibly hard work; digging for this pathway alone meant bagging up wet sticky clay and doing 72 trips to our local tip in our Nissan Micra; I intended to hire a skip but our local council wanted £6 from us for a certificate to allow the skip to be placed on the road in front of our bungalow; typical of the way the country runs when someone actually wants to better themselves. I had the pleasure of watching the council dispose of the clay it only costing fuel for the car and time. The 3' x 2' x 2" flags are very heavy indeed and as I bedded each onto the mortar I had to put in wooden packing pieces to prevent the slab disappearing to the valley bottom. A number of our neighbours have since had contractors in to copy my idea. All the clay dug out to the rear whilst creating the new pathway and patio I managed to lose in the gardens.

My luthier Geoff has just kindly sent me this link;

https://www.gear4music.com/Rec.....undle/2CLS

It's well worth considering; I could as you kindly suggest extend the USB cable but do this having the mic and equipment in the studio at the rear of the bungalow but connected to the computer in my office to the front of the bungalow in fact I might even get away with just using the mic on an extended cable; not ideal but at least I could then have the comfort advantages of the studio.

Mic.JPGImage Enlarger

A forum friend kindly sent ne details of the mic shown which looks like good value; I'm starting to collect a few options.

I already have "Audacity" but there are other programs too for playing around with recordings; I'm totally new to this but I'm already learning quickly.

Bron has a smart mobile phone which we seldom use neither of us of the modern generation with a mobile welded to ear but I note it has a socket connection so yet another option; I'm about to wander into the studio for a violin practice session.

I bought a Suzuki volume 1 violin instructional book but last night couldn't make sense of it at all; I presume this book needs to be used between student and tutor so as I'm on my own I'll keep experimenting.

Kind regards, Colin.

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ELCBK
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https://www.txts.ms/img/picture-sms/2017/09/cute-winter-happy-holidays-image.jpg

@Retired - 

Beautiful work, Colin!  Those slabs heated in the Winter? 

There's sooo much I wanted to do structurally, especially in front of our house, but the Township kept saying they were going to run sewers and pave the road.  I have waited, because I didn't want to have to redo anything that costly. 

...it still hasn't happened - and now I'd have to pay someone, cause Kevin & I are in no shape for that kind of labor anymore! 

 

Here's a link to threads having to do with recording (you are allowed to get involved in the rest of this forum). (lol) 

https://fiddlerman.com/forum/r.....he-violin/

Look to YouTube for Suzuki Violin Tutorials - there's plenty there to help you use your book. 

I still suggest you try to record with Bron's Smartphone.  I set mine on a stand or tripod, touch the record spot, play, touch to stop, review, and then share to YouTube. 

Might be that simple for you, too. 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/df/a5/01/dfa501f9a87ba203c154ba46cc599d1f.jpg

...card by Kim Haskins.

- Emily

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stringy
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I used the samuel applebaum string builder books, take it from me colin they are excellent and take you from the very beginning, easy to understand, and are cheap from Amazon, about 4 quid each.

I do have suzuki book 3, but found as you have that basically they will not teach you much, gOod for material and the suzuki intonation lessons are on you tube for free from many people but I personally think you cant go wrong with string builder series, if you decide to try book 1, make sure yOu order the violin copy, and dont try to rush through it, everything in there is teaching You something from the start.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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Hi,

Many thanks Emily; yesterday I tried using Bron's smart phone to record a practice session but I'm not as smart as the phone and it was a waste of time; I dislike mobile phones or indeed any phone so it's not surprising I was unsuccessful but I do appreciate your useful suggestion; perhaps I'd be more successful with a smart phone if I knew a four year old child to explain it to me; I'm a true dinosaur remembering how I was taught in the dark ages using slate and chalk; these days kids have smart phones in my days food and clothes were a luxury.

The slabs aren't heated but I was definitely well heated and often rained on laying them; a job I wouldn't want to do again.

Thanks also Emily for the Fiddlerman link; I've actually been browsing the threads finding them interesting over the last couple of weeks. I found the Suzuki book virtually useless because it lacks the basics I wanted to learn but as @stringy kindly states there are lots of YouTube videos showing how to use these books so I'll browse YouTube which should help.

I'm sorry to learn you and Kevin are no longer up to doing the heavy jobs needed around home and property now having to rely on getting someone in; fortunately I'm still fit enough to do such work; with Bron's help over the years we've done just about everything to our bungalow other than demolish and start over; from replacing the drains right up to replacing the roof with chimney and stack.

I love the cat pictures you keep posting Emily; I was looking for the cat in the Happy Holidays picture but it must be hiding behind the snowman.

Thanks @stringy for the string builder books information I'll certainly have a look and buy book one; I'm not impressed by the Suzuki volume 1; as a novice on my own it does little for me but as you kindly suggest perhaps also using this book with the aid of YouTube it might make more sense but it's not what I expected as a violin novice training book.

Good news though; I've found exactly what I was looking for regarding recording my violin practice sessions in the studio then being able to bring the recording to the computer in my office. I spent a lot of time browsing the web; YouTube and eBay etc but didn't know what correct questions to ask then during dinner time yesterday I came across a very useful video which grabbed my attention; I then browsed other video's of the same recorder; here's an example;

Now I was in with a chance; after dinner I browsed the web looking for Tascam suppliers and eventually on Gumtree hit the the jackpot; one of these Tascams was posted for sale the ad only one day old; the Tascam was second hand but in good condition priced at £100. I immediately sent an email to the seller enquiring if it was still for sale and offering £110 if he would accept PayPal and post it to me the extra £10 to offset the PayPal fees; I received a quick reply and after a couple more exchanged emails the seller sent me his email address allowing payment to be sent; he'd used PayPal for buying but not receiving payment; all went well and I received an email confirming the money had been received; the Tascam is being posted to me today so should be delivered shortly.

Incredibly no sooner had I bought this Tascam my luthier Geoff sent me an email suggesting I look at a Tascam and he kindly included a link to a supplier; opening the link I was looking at a brand new Tascam DP-03SD Digital Portastudio costing £263.50 so the Tascam I've bought is a genuine bargain; this new Tascam has a different model number; for once I've had good luck and hope it works when it arrives.

Tascam-2.JPGImage EnlargerTascam.JPGImage Enlarger

It's taken a lot of time and patience but I think I'm now sorted regarding recording and for my needs it's a one off payment because it's highly unlikely I'll use the Tascam I bought to its limit.

Whilst practicing playing my violin I can obviously hear what I'm playing but I'm interested to find out how it sounds to anyone else; I think the Tascam will prove very useful.

Whilst composing this post our lovely neighbour has just phoned to advise us her 6 year old son has just tested positive for the Omicron Covid virus; he's OK and possibly will feel unwell for a few days but their cat Aspros is a regular visitor to us so we'd better not stroke him until safe to do so; I wish the family all the very best. This is exactly why I won't consider violin lessons; it's too risky and now Omicron is very near; Bron and I are fully jabbed including booster but it's still worrying.

Kind regards, Colin.

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ABitRusty
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nifty looking device @Retired !  I watched the video as well.   This may be something @stringy should take a look at.   He was asking about multitrack recorders in a post a few weeks ago.

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Gordon Shumway
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I must admit it does look nice.

There's also an 8-track with sliders (oh, I've just noticed that Colin's photo features that one) and also a 32-track, you'll notice.

You'll need the phantom power for condenser mics, although some have battery compartments, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend those - they are pretty big and cumbersome. You'll only need them if you do a gig in a village hall and they have their own amp and it's primitive. If you do gigs of that nature, you're probably best off taking your own amp along.

48V is the industry standard - it looks frightening, but the mic just takes off the 1.5V that it needs. 48V is probably most efficient at conveying current over long distances - old carbon telephones used to run on 50V.

What is amazing is that modern ceramic transformers mean you can transform 5V DC to 50V DC with a total weight of hardware so small that it adds nothing to your audio gear!

Andrew

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Jim Dunleavy
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If you just want to record your playing, something like this might be the best value. 

https://www.gear4music.com/Aud.....38QAvD_BwE

I've never used one myself, but someone at a piano workshop I used to attend a few years ago had the same type of thing and she just used to put it on a chair near the piano to record herself.

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Gordon Shumway
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The Tascams maybe. I do own a Zoom, but after you've bought the basic thing, you have to buy a kit of extras for memory and connectibility, and it works out a very expensive ounce of plastic. I bought it to record lectures and lessons, but I've never used it. It's why I wouldn't dream of buying a Zoom camera.

Andrew

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Gordon Shumway said
The Tascams maybe. I do own a Zoom, but after you've bought the basic thing, you have to buy a kit of extras for memory and connectibility, and it works out a very expensive ounce of plastic. I bought it to record lectures and lessons, but I've never used it. It's why I wouldn't dream of buying a Zoom camera.

  

 

Ill 2nd Andrew in that the pricing for alot of the zoom products leaves out and sd card.. not sure batteries are included either.  For recording lessons ive just about gotten to the point where if i need to record its just my phone now.   Ill still take the h2n to group stuff for the surround recordings.   its small enough to fit in pocket too.  But i think the tascam has advantage with the xlr inputs and individual controls like a mixer.  You can adjust without navigating a menu.  all these devices depend on user and intended use.  for simplicity im still in favor of phone.  but with that being off the table the tascam looks as good as anything ive seen advertised.

h2n kit pricing for comparison

 

h2n kit

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Gordon Shumway
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Zoom do some nice cheap guitar effects pedals though. Useful for electric violin.

Look for the G1on (Guitar) and the B1on (Bass). Hmm, they are already discontinued. If you're interested, you can look for replacement products.

Andrew

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Hi,

Thanks @ABitRusty; it might just be what @stringy would be interested in. Thanks also for the Zoom h2n kit link which is interesting; I'm totally new to all this sort of thing so can add little by way of information only adding my experiences as I stumble along; I usually get there in the end and I think this Tascam will be all I'll ever need by way of studio recording.

Thanks Andrew @Gordon Shumway I've not yet received the Tascam but Steve who has sold it to me emailed last night saying he's been using it for his guitar and that he was very surprised indeed by how good the inbuilt mic is I think there are two mics so It's unlikey I'll need to upgrade to a plug in mic. It is indeed very easy to spend a great deal of money if not careful; not just with this electronic kit but I'm into lathes and tooling for these can easily cost more than the actual lathe; a single Sorby woodturning lathe chuck cost me over £200 with only a standard jaw set included; to but the complete set of jaws would bring tears to my pocket.

I've looked at the site you linked to @Jim Dunleavy thank you; I notice lots of assorted Tascam kit for sale at various prices; if all goes well though I think I've got an excellent bit of kit with the Tascam I bought and being second hand it's less than half new price which suits me being a tight Yorkshireman.

The only Zoom I've previously heard of is Zoom communication where families and businesses can join for meetings without even leaving home; Zoom has been extremely useful keeping companies in business during these Covid times;

https://zoom.us/

From the age of 11 attending secondary modern school I was out of bed each morning at 4am to do my paper rounds before attending school this in all weather including blizzard. This I did until reaching 15 then I could have a lay in each morning until 4:30am then cycling four miles to the colliery to start work at 6am. I've always been a grafter and even to this day in retirement I get out of bed twice weekly Monday & Friday to do the shopping before the supermarkets get busy; the other five days I still get up at 6am but then make two mugs of tea returning back to bed for an hour.

I don't recall the last time I slept in but yesterday morning I didn't get up until 6:15 which really surprised me but stranger yet this morning I didn't awaken until 7:05. I've been going to bed tired out for so many years I think it's at last catching up with me.

Yesterday morning it took me over an hour to compose a simple email due to many interruptions; I've been concentrating so hard browsing the web for tools; materials and electronic kit; I'm practicing the violin time permitting and with lots of chores like shopping and maintaining our property I have little spare time; it's a good job I'm fully retired otherwise I wouldn't cope.

I'm not complaining because I was brought up with a powerful work ethic where to eat meant to work and it's stuck with me for over 60 years; it keeps me fit and active and I'm never ever bored so I'll accept dropping into a coma each night as I go to bed; life is now very good indeed for us and we've worked hard for our lifestyle.

Many thanks @stringy for your book suggestion; I take a lot of notice regarding all information kindly posted and I've bought the first in the series as seen here awaiting its arrival;

String-builder-book..JPGImage Enlarger

Roll on Easter then perhaps I can look forward to warmer if not drier weather allowing me to get into the workshop; at the moment I feel like doing little which is unusual for me but it's so cold outside and it gets dark around 4pm; the shortest day will soon be here 21st December so then the daylight hours start to gradually increase; the best thing I like about Christmas is Easter.

An update; I've just enjoyed a practice session playing my violin and WOW I'm absolutely amazed; I was practicing on the A string with full bow strokes when suddenly the violin gave out a beautiful rich mellow note; just checking it must have been on or very near the "B" I've never managed this previously and I'm having problems repeating it; when I removed the shoulder rest I noticed one of it's feet was displaced resting on the lower bout? This has really cheered me up and a glimpse of things to come.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Hi,

The Tascam DP-008EX Digital multitrack recorder arrived yesterday and what an incredible piece of kit. I was too busy to play around with it but when I finally settled down and was concentrating on a YouTube tutorial a neighbour popped over with Christmas card and mince pies which was very decent of her but of course it stopped me watching the video; I hope I don't sound ungrateful but every time I try to concentrate there are interruptions.

I resumed watching the YouTube video's at 6 o'clock this morning whilst having breakfast welcoming the peace and quiet; as I now type tree surgeons are just across the street using a big chipper; it never lets up and I can't even hide in the workshop with the doors closed because of interruptions; the latest being our immediate neighbour locked out of her garden hut; I broke off what I was doing and sorted it out using my angle grinder; she blamed the magpies for stealing the keys? I'm the only one here on the street with a fully equipped workshop hence any problems our neighbours head our way; concentration shattered again. I can't really complain because so many live on their own and would welcome such company but I can't relax and concentrate on anything. I think I've gone deaf because the chipper has just been turned off? I've been fully retired for almost 21 years and still can't do what I'd like to do;.

It's dark wet and miserable with heavy rain forecast today; I've just put the heating on in the studio where I hope to hide practicing my violin playing and having a go at recording using the Tascam. Yesterday it was much milder at 13C so I was busy outdoors washing and polishing the car; I cleared the leaves off the grass and even spent a short while grinding the blades of the new knives I've made these still needing honing; I just keep plugging away and little by little move forward. My violin making project is on hold until the weather improves.

Sadly two of the phone calls received was from our lovely neighbour at the end of the street informing us her 6 year old son had Omicron so this was upsetting news; the little lad is OK but obviosly the family now are in isolation; the second call from her was with much better news it wasn't Omicron but actually the usual Covid but still bad enough; I phoned last night and the family are fine but we were very worried about the little lad. Looking at our local news this morning we're in a virus hotspot but we're used to this by now and seldom venture out other than supermarket shopping and when I take Bron for a spin in the country just the two of us to leave the bungalow for a while; we're happy to be home because we've both got so many interesting hobbies to occupy us.

Kind regards, Colin.

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Hi,

The rain's stopped; the tree surgeons have departed and I've even wandered down to the workshop this morning to collect some kit. I was determined to connect speakers up to the Tascam hence the trip to the workshop; I collected cable; connectors and tools etc.

Returning to the studio I'd just placed everything on the bench when our former neighbour paid us a welcome visit bearing gifts; when she departed I went into the studio and failed in connecting the Tascam to the speakers; of all the many connectors I have to hand I didn't have a single correct RCA connector so my usual luck stilll remains with me.

My-Den.JPGImage EnlargerRough-but-original..JPGImage Enlarger

I used to have a radio/TV repair workshop as shown with lots of test equipment and a great deal of spares of all kinds for restoring cabinets and chassis but now I want just two small connectors GRRRRR. This repair workshop is now our crafting/violin studio.

It's now a lot brighter outside so after dinner I can play out.

Kind regards, Colin.

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I used to have a radio/TV repair workshop as shown with lots of test equipment and a great deal of spares of all kinds for restoring cabinets and chassis but now I want just two small connectors GRRRRR. 

I know the problem. I come from a navy town and all the old geezers gave me their baccie tins when they'd finished with them, and when I was a teenager I had loads full of capacitors and resistors and the like. Now I own absolutely nothing, not even a soldering iron - I had a useless 10W thing - I'd get a 50W/100W thermostatically conrtolled one now if I could find one, but I don't know where to buy any components or anything else anymore. I used to make things from valves, but those days are gone - nowadays I'd only bother with solid state, but it's all ICs, there's no soul in it. I suspect that I'd even shun transistors for operational amplifiers.

Andrew

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BillyG
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December 14, 2021 - 11:08 am
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@Gordon Shumway - and indeed @Retired

Aye, I get it totally !  Talk about the "baccy boxes" Alf, yeah, still got a stack of them with various M2, M3 screws, washers, nuts, ant-shake etc... oh, they're handy (most are showing signs of rust now, being so old!

Specifically @Retired - yeah that pic of the chassis reminded me of my AC1 ( Bush SW, MW and LW valve radio previously owned by my parents - they bought it back in 1950 with monies received as wedding gifs, or so I was told - at 20 quid or so back then, they MUST have had a lot of good friends !!!!! hahaha - yeah - expensive item back then )   I listened to that radio as a kid, and well into my late teens when I finally left home.  It was that very item that engaged my interest in electronics and radio (amateur radio I mean) in general.   The item that failed most regularly in the Bush AC1 was the CY31 half-wave rectifier valve (valve ????  What's THAT I hear the cry... LOL).  I think it was around 1975 or so, a year or so into my first employment - I had returned home for a short break - and the Bush had gone dead again.....  My old man was uncertain ( well perhaps I'm being unfair there ) - but I said "I can fix that".....  and (since it was a common failure over the years) - I replaced the CY31 with a (what was just called back then) a "silicon bridge rectifier" - valve gone.... forever...  Radio still works when I occasionally turn it on and wait for it to heat-up LOL. (I have a small supply in store of the other 4 valves - and over the years since my parents passed, I've only replaced two of them - the CCH35 and the CY33...)  Great stuff.....  OLD is GOOD....  These days I can't even BEGIN to "repair" the electronics on a car, let alone mess with the electronic injection / "engine management" systems.   Bring back the carburettor, that's what I say.... LOL

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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